For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday April 15, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . God’s work to save mankind from death and to reconcile all creation to Himself began to be realized when Mary accepted God’s invitation to her through Archangel Gabriel. The Eternal Son of God became fully man, except free from sin, in order to pay the price of all human sin by offering that human body, soul and life on the Cross, and by rising in that flesh on the third day to overcome death for us all. This is the primary reason why God became man. As the means to extend the effects of Christ’s Cross and Resurrection from the dead throughout the world and through every century, He sent the Holy Spirit to begin His one Church. The following excerpts from two homilies by Pope Saint Leo the Great express this great reality of God’s hard work to save us, the whole individual person—you and me—body and soul, so we might live with Him forever in the flesh:

“Majesty humbled itself, power became weak, and eternity mortal. To pay the debt inherent in our [human] estate, the unchangeable nature of God was united to our changeable human nature so that, as our healing required, the one Mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, might be both subject to death because he was a man and yet free of death because he was God.

“The true and eternal God was thus born a full and complete man, wholly divine and wholly human. By ‘human’ we mean what the Creator made in the beginning with Adam, and what He made His own in order to redeem it. Whatever the deceiver [Satan] introduced into us and deceived man accepted, had no place in the Savior. He shared our weaknesses but not our sins.

“He took the status of a servant, therefore, but of a sinless one, exalting the humanity without lessening the divinity. For this self-emptying in which the invisible God became visible, and the Creator and Lord of all things willed to become a mortal creature, was the stooping of pity, not the failing of power. Thus He who as God created man became a man Himself in the form of a servant [Jesus].

“The Son of God enters our lowly world, descending from His heavenly throne but not putting off the glory that He has from the Father. He is reborn in a new way—new, because though invisible of Himself as God, He became visible as man; though incomprehensible, He willed to be comprehended; existing before all time, He began to exist in time; the Lord of the universe hid His majesty and took the estate of a servant; the impassible God did not disdain to become a suffering man, and though immortal, to subject Himself to the Law of death” [Letter 28, To Flavian].

“The Son of God, has taken human nature so closely to Himself that one and the same Christ consists not only of that Man himself who is the First-born of every creature, but of all His saints as well. As our head cannot be separated from the members of the body without doing damage to the body, neither can the members [of the Church] be separated from its Head [Christ].

“Although it is said of eternal life and not of our earthly estate that God is all in all, yet He dwells even now in His temple, the Church, as He promised: ‘I am with you all days, even to the end of the world.’ All that God’s Son did and taught, therefore, to reconcile the world to the Father is not simply a fact of past history, but a present and operative reality now. Himself born of the Virgin by the Spirit’s power, He now makes His spotless church fruitful through the same Spirit, and she bears countless children to God in the birth of Baptism. Of these children it is written: ‘They are born, not of flesh and blood or of human desire, but of God,’ He it is who, excluding none, forms all the nations of the earth into one holy flock and daily fulfills His promise to gather all His sheep. Though He said to blessed Peter, above all others, ‘Feed my sheep,’ the Lord Himself is everyone’s Shepherd. He so strengthens them with His love that, as He did not hesitate to die for them, they do not hesitate to die for Him.

“For, if we share the Body and Blood of Christ [in the Eucharist], we are assimilated to what we eat and drink [to Christ, Himself]. In all circumstances we will show forth in body and soul the image of Him in whom and with whom we died and were buried and rose to new life [in Baptism]” [Sermon 12, On the Passion].

Such is God’s love for us that He went to such lengths to give us a share in His Divine Life: now He continues, through the Sacraments He instituted in His Church, leading us to eternity in the flesh: but we must co-operate in our lives with virtue, and love Him who loved us so greatly. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Mary-Jane Rice, Joan Duffy, Gale Browne, Titina Tarantino, Corrie Evans, Mercedes Huertas, Peter Boltrek, Billy Therriault, Raymond Eagan, Gary Everett, Erin Wiggin, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Marie Michele Louis, Herman Schneider, Eva Grace Kelly, John Murray, Mary D’Arco, Anthony Sansone, Tessie Mulhern, Margie Joyce, Tonin Gjepaj, Sandra Mayfield.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Anthony Russo, Violet Roddy, David Brandel, Blanche Kulowiec, Thomas Pavia, Cassandra Eloy, Anilia Firmin, Joseph Danilauskas, Bridget Sheehy, Norma Johnson, Viergina Toussaint, George Muro, Ann Rich, Lena Chiappetta, Rosina Raiteri, Felicia Stramandinoli, Duverney Caporal, Terrence Cooke, Charles Harman, Bill Wiles, Carmen Candelaria, Gregory E. Mazza.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Easter Duty. . . Each Catholic is obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once yearly, during the Easter Season (Easter—Pentecost, June12). One should also go to Confession at least once yearly, as well, in order to worthily receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

Monday Evening Holy Hour . . . Monday nights 7-8:00 pm for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary in the Nagle Hall. Next Holy Hour: April 16th .

DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY. . .Sunday April 15th. The Divine Mercy Chaplet will be prayed as part of our annual Eucharistic Holy Hour: 1:30-2:30p.m., ending in Benediction. Please join us.

RESTROOMS. . . For our new parishioners, especially with small children: our restrooms are located in two places at St. John’s: in the vestibule to the left of the front door once you walk into the basilica [the same door that leads to the choir loft] and downstairs in the parish hall, by way of the elevator: go down one floor [it’s the only place the elevator goes to], down the corridor to the right.

BOOKSTORE. . . Our parish bookstore has moved—across the hall in the front vestibule of the basilica, into the bell tower. You can’t miss it: the space is larger and well lit. Please visit.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . Will next meet on Wednesday evenings in May.

Latin Reading Group. . .Wednesdays: 6:15 pm in the Rectory (reading ability required).

Biblical Greek Grammar. . . A beginner grammar class that meets Thursdays: 6:30 pm in the Rectory.

Repainting the Church. . . $615,819.00 is pledged towards our goal of $641,000.00. The Canning Studio artisans have completed their work, and the result is a masterpiece that will last at least 100 years. PLEASE, if you have not completed your pledge payments, or haven’t made a donation to the church repainting, please do so now: what else can you contribute to that will inspire people during the next 100 years? Thanks.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR. . . For Two great parish events:
Saturday, May 5th, 4:00-7:30 pm: Kentucky Derby: This will be our primary fundraising event of the season, and all are invited to enjoy a live television feed of the Derby, post time at 6:24 pm. Wagering & prizes, live auction, live jazz band, superb food provided by some of the best local restaurants, including Columbus Park Trattoria, and excellent local food shops, including mountains of fresh lobster, crab, oysters, clams and shrimp from Grade A ShopRite, wines, mint juleps and soft drinks as well.

40 Hours Devotion. . . Will begin here at the Basilica on Friday, June 8th at 7:30 pm. The Blessed Sacrament will remain exposed and the Basilica open throughout that weekend, until Sunday, June 10th at 5:30 pm, when we begin our outdoor Eucharistic Procession:

Sunday June 10th: 5:30-9:00 pm: Feast of Corpus Christi and Parish Block Party: The parish will sponsor an outdoor Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Stamford beginning at 5:30 p.m ending by 6:30pm FOLLOWED BY a Parish Block Party: food and non-alcoholic beverages, with the Catholic Band L’Angelus from 6:30-9:00pm: it will be fun and food for the family: and all without charge, as our way to thank everyone in the parish for having contributed to the repainting of our basilica. The procession begins on Atlantic Street at the Basilica front door; the Parish Block Party in the parish parking lot. Please join us!

Weekly Sunday collection:
Easter Sunday 2012 $ 18,579.26
Easter Sunday 2011 $ 16,103.18

“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

April 22nd Sunday Readings: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; 1 Jn 2:1-5a; Lk 24:35-48.

Home Schooling Families. . . A group for home schooling families meets monthly on Tuesday in the rectory. All ages are welcome. Please contact Julianne DeMarco at 203-966-3641, juliannedemarco@yahoo.com, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301, jmlancaster@optonline.net.

St. John’s 20’s and 30’s: The Flock….our young adult group, offers social and community service activities. Meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month in the rectory. Doors open at 7:00 PM. (More info: Deirdre.Garrahan@gmail.com ). Next meeting: May 10th in the Rectory

*NEW* Francis & Clare High School Youth Group. . . Faith. Adventure. Community. That’s what you’ll find at the new post-Confirmation co-ed High School Youth Group. Join us! Meetings on the 2nd and 4th Sunday each month. Find the group “Francis and Clare Youth Group” on Facebook or email Deirdre.garrahan@gmail.com for more info.

PARISH HISTORY. . . Our parish historian, Mr. Lawrence Bolanowski, has written and self-published a history of our parish, beginning in the mid-1800’s to the present. It is a fascinating read, filled with anecdotes, stories of anti-Catholic struggles, humorous, touching and poignant episodes outlining Catholic life in Stamford, and filled with wonderful photographs from the earliest days of the parish and the school right up to the present. The hardcopy cost is $70. (worth the cost), or we may be able to offer an on-line version soon. I want to thank Larry for his more than 30 years of hard work amassing what is now the largest and best parish archive in the State of Connecticut, if not all of New England. For most of my time here (14years), Larry has driven weekly to Saint John’s from his home in New Jersey, arriving at 5:30 a.m. to do research at the Ferguson Library and the Stamford Historical Society, gathering photographs, and newspaper clippings about Saint John’s Parish: just the Stamford Advocate file of articles about our parish measures more than 40 linear feet of documents!! He has scoured EBay over the years and has collected memorabilia, original documents and artifacts from St. John’s, and contacted parishioners for photos, school diplomas and sacramental records. He is retiring from his active position as parish historian, but will continue to keep his eyes open for interesting historical artifacts and information about our parish. Thank you, Larry, for your decades of devotion to our parish, and for preserving our history, and the records of the lives of faith of our parishioners, priests and religious sisters who worshipped and worked here during our more than 150 years in Stamford.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . Has begun. Many parishioners may have already received a letter from Bishop Lori. Saint John’s annual goal, set by the diocese, is $100,000. The funds collected for the Bishop are used for the numerous charitable and educational works of the Diocese. We have collected to date: $37,084.

Sunday, April 29th. . . HOLY ROOTS!, a discussion about the religious foundations of Stamford: 1641-1876, at the Stamford Historical Society: 2-5 pm. Speakers: Msgr. DiGiovanni, Mr. John Allen [Congregational] and Rev. James Wheeler [Episcopal]. Cost: $15. per person; $5 students, payable to Stamford Historical Society. Please mail check to Stamford Historical Society, 1598 High Ridge Road, Stamford.

Project Rachel Ministry. . . offers free and confidential help to those seeking healing after abortion. Come back to God who is love and mercy. Info. (203) 416-1619 or projectrachel@diobpt.org.

Tony Melendez in Concert. . . St. Theresa Church, Trumbull, CT, Friday, May 4th, 2012 @ 7:30PM. Purchase tickets at http://sttheresatrumbull.org. Please call 203-261-3145 with any questions. “My wish to you, is to continue giving this hope to all the people.” Pope John Paul II, Papal Visit 1987.

Job Seekers . . . Meets the 4th Monday monthly in the rectory at 7:30pm: all are welcome. There’s no charge for these services. The group is led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. More info, see: www.redinc.biz or 203-866-1606. Next meeting: Monday, April 23rd.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 14, 2012
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, April 15, 2012
7:30 +John Maloney req. Mary
8:30 +Deceased members of Menosky and Bober Families
10:00 +Frances A. Pouzar req. Ed Pouzar
12:00 Our Lady of Loretto Altar Guild
5:00 +Hope McAleer 25th Anniversary req. McAleer Family
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, April 16, 2012
8:00 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Fabiola C.
12:10 +Josephine Henson req. John and Laura Pascale
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
8:00 +Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Guillaume & Family req. their children
12:10 John Joseph Walsh – Happiest Birthday req. Dorothy Keyes
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
8:00 +Millien Family req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 Special Intentions Camryn O’Hara & Family req. Maude and Paul Hughes
Thursday, April 19, 2012
8:00 +Michelle Luchetta req. Ferro Family
12:10 +Rev. Anthony Dandry req. Laura and John Pascale
Friday, April 20, 2012
8:00 +Deceased friends of Joseph and Agnes Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:10 Jane Gannon Birthday req. Sharon Gannon
Saturday, April 21, 2012
8:00 +John Mannes 51st Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Families
12:10 Deceased members of the Curioni Family req. Leon Taricani

Weddings. . . Couples must contact and begin meeting with one of the parish priests for at least 6 months before a hoped for wedding date at Saint John’s. Please call the parish secretary, Cindy, or one of the priests for an initial discussion.

Baptisms. . . Are celebrated every day of the week, according to the schedule of the parish priests and the families. Baptisms at St. John’s are one-family only ceremonies: never groups. Please call Cindy (203-324-1553, ext 21).

Holy Name Society. . . For the men of the parish, meets Fridays in the Rectory, 7-7:50 a.m. for coffee, Eucharistic Adoration & Benediction. All men of the parish are welcome. We finish in time for the 8am Mass.

Moms & Tots . . . Moms and their kids meets in the Church each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30a.m.

St. Anne’s Society . . .A family society meeting four times a year on Sundays after the 5pm mass, with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and prayer, supper, and a lecture in the church hall.

Pray to end Legalized Abortion . . . Wednesdays, 7-10:30a.m., Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St.

St. Dominic Savio Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young men, 8th-12th grades. For more information call Ferry at 203-324-1553 ext. 22.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 8th-12th grades. Call Beth at 203-975-0074.

Holy Hour. . . on Monday Nights, 7pm—8 pm. Adoration, Holy Rosary, and Benediction. All are welcome!

The Legion of Mary. . . . Meets Wednesday Evenings at 7:30 pm ’till 9:00 pm in the rectory. All are welcome.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . .Wednesdays, 7:30 pm in the rectory: Next meeting, May 2nd.

The Latin Reading Group. . . Meets Wednesday evenings at 6:15 pm in the rectory: basic reading ability required.

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Basic Grammar: Meets Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the rectory.

Coffee Hour. . . After the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall. All are welcome.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
April 22, 1870: “The old house standing on the lot purchased by the Roman Catholic society, is being taken down. This, we suppose, is the fist step towards the great work of building the new church. The house above referred to was one of the oldest in the village. The relic hunter, Charles Alphonse, found behind the wainscoting several copper coins, some of which were nearly two hundred years old.”

85 years ago, or so:
April 22, 1929: JOHN ENNIS, STAMFORD, GRAND OLD MAN, DIES AT HIS HOME ON WARREN ST. “John Ennis, Stamford’s grand old man, died at his home at 47 Warren Street at 3:30 a.m. today after being confined to his home since March 1. Death was due to pneumonia, but Mr. Ennis had never fully recovered from injuries received two years ago when struck by an automobile. He was known to Stamford people for his record in crossing the continent in 80 days and five hours in 1918, thereby breaking the record of Edward Weston of 105 days. As late as Feb. 14, last, he had skated on the Cove Pond, where in 1893 he lost the world’s 100 mile ice-skating championship which he had held for 20 years. At that time Mr. Ennis was 52 years old. Mr. Ennis also engaged in swimming as late as last Summer and was able to excel over men and youths 60 and 75 years his junior in those sports. Mr. Ennis was born in Richmond Harbor, County Longford, Ireland on June 4, 1842, and came to this country when six years old, settling with his parents in Chicago, then the western frontier of this country. He drew the plans for and built St. John’s R.C. Church on Atlantic Street here. With the late Rev. James C. O’Brien he loved the church and it is aptly regarded as a monument to those sterling men. Mr. Ennis was a veteran of the Civil War, enlisting before he was 21 years old with the 23rd. Illinois Infantry, and serving throughout the war. A solemn requiem Mass will be celebrated for Mr. Ennis at St. John’s Church, Wednesday morning at 10, and interment will be in Springdale. He will be accorded full military honors at the funeral.”

75 years ago, or so:
April 16, 1938: New Chimes for St. John’s Church. “New chimes in the spire of St. John’s Catholic Church were tested this morning. Heard in their carillon for miles around the city, the chimes attracted the attention of many residents, particularly the older folks, who recalled that they had never heard a bell in St. John’s Church before. The Rev. N. P. Coleman, pastor, explained that the church never had a bell for the spire.”

Divine Mercy Sunday
-Fr. Terry Walsh

In the early 1920’s, a young woman named Maria Faustina Kowalska entered the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy in Cracow, Poland. She began to experience Mystical Revelations of Jesus, who began to instruct her about the greatest attribute of God: His Mercy. She wrote about these experiences of her Private Revelations and visions in a book called the Diary. Our Lord appeared to St. Faustina in His Glorified Body with bright rays of Red and White light streaming from His Sacred Heart. He told her that he wanted this image to be painted and at the bottom of the painting, to inscribe the words: “Jesus, I Trust in You.” He also instructed her that He wanted the 1st Sunday following Easter to be proclaimed perpetually as a special feast celebrating His Mercy. In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II, also a native of Cracow, elevated Blessed Faustina to Sainthood and proclaimed that the 1st Sunday following Easter would indeed be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday in the Church’s Liturgy – to honor the Mercy of God. Incidentally, 5 years after this proclamation, Pope John Paul II would draw his last breath on Divine Mercy Sunday, just after receiving Holy Communion.

The Supreme Act of Mercy, of course, was offered when Jesus laid down His life as a ransom for us and enabled us to enter into His Divine Life through personal encounters with Him in the Sacraments, most especially Holy Eucharist. Consider one of the prayers associated with the Divine Mercy Chaplet: “O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a Fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You.” It is that very Blood that we receive in the Eucharist.

When Jesus appeared to the Apostles after the Resurrection, He greeted them with mercy. In the Gospel of Luke (known as the Gospel of Mercy) Jesus says “Be Merciful.” He commands us to have the same compassion on one another that He demonstrated in the upper room. When we read the Scriptures, most especially the four Gospels, we uncover His Mercy on every page. At the same time, we are called to meditate on His mercy and love so that we can imitate Him.

St. Faustina sought our Lord with an undivided heart and her faith in His love strengthened her to endure suffering by uniting herself to the suffering heart of Jesus. She wrote, “Although outwardly I meet with many sufferings and various adversities, this does not, however, lessen my interior life for a moment nor disturb my inner silence. I do not fear at all being abandoned by creatures because, even if all abandoned me, I would not be alone, for the Lord is with me. And even if the Lord were to hide, love will know how to find Him. For love knows no gates or guards; even the keen-eyed Cherub himself, with his flaming sword, will not stop love; it will work its way through wilderness and scorching heat, through storm, thunder and darkness, and will reach the source from which it came, and there it will endure forever. All things will come to an end; but love, never”(The Diary, 1022). In one private revelation to the Saint, Jesus revealed to her: “I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My Mercy”(The Diary, 1059).

We simply need to look to His wounded side upon the Cross and know that He endured it for love of us. Trust in Him.